Project summer

Summers are always wacky schedules, a rush to try and squeeze in some fun times and a whole lotta “sleeping in.”

I always try and squeeze in a life lesson or two.

Big girl has her first job. It’s made the summer schedule for little miss a little more hectic but it’s given big girl some money of her own…THANK GOD!

We are using an app called GREENLIGHT that gives her a parent controlled debit card. She earns a weekly allowance IF she completes chores I set up on that app. I can deposit her check into my account and transfers the funds right to her card. We’ve set it up so a little bit of her allowance goes into a “save” account and some goes into a “charity” account.

Life lesson #1: save 1/2 of each check. We are both saving money for the trip of a lifetime in 2020–a cruise to the Greek isles. If that isn’t incentive I don’t know what is! She’s pumped to see her savings balance grow while still having some spending money.

Life lesson#2: gas ain’t free. The first time I told her she had to buy her own gas I thought she was going to turn herself inside out. With cheer and swim: advanced classes and such I didn’t make her have a job during the school year. Which meant THE BANK OF MOM was open 24/7. Need gas? Ask mom. Want new jeans? Ask mom. Ice cream? Mom. Eating out? Mom.

Not now!!!! Welcome to the working world baby! Need gas? Fill ‘er up baby. It’s your dime. Funny how her old jeans fit fine now. She’s also eating home more. She’ll get up early for Dunkin’ though. And it’s her money so that’s a-okay.

So far the money lessons have been successful. She’s a MUCH better at capturing the concept than her big bro who has worked for years but literally has .19 cents in his checking account and .42 cents in savings. I tried to teach him the same lessons. He didn’t learn them. I need a minute and then I’ll try again with him. Maybe 897th time will be the charm.

Lesson #3: one night a week the girl has to make dinner! I’ll buy-she fry’s (or sautées or bakes or whatever). First time we bought all the ingredients for a Publix apron meal. Seemed like a good idea. It was a meal that required absolutely no ingredients we already had and steak. $45 dollars later we had ingredients. Too bad we didn’t have a grill.

The first attempt was a fail. Lots of nights working, no concept of how to grill a steak without a grill (she didn’t understand when I kept telling her George Forman–she thought I was telling her to ask someone named George for help!) I ended up working some later nights. The steaks went to waste.

But I didn’t give up.

Next attempt I was a little smarter. Fresh market sells meal kits. A recipe, all the ingredients packaged up and ready to make for one low $20 price.

Of course in learning lesson #4 the $20 meal became an $85 dollar meal. My daughter used out bigger car to hit the mall and I used her little bug to run local errands–like the grocery store. Before she left she reminded me that the car locked automatically. I remembered that the second AFTER I closed the car door, with my purse, and the keys inside.

Locksmiths cost $65. Meal cost $20. Life lessons can be expensive!

Another lesson learned–don’t wait until the end of the week.

So tonight-Monday-I came home to a beef stir fry cooked by my big girl!!!!

And…she not made it. She ate it. Red meat and veggies.

Win-win-win.

After dinner we spent the evening picking off our own powder fake nails. Boo-yah! When it’s your own money you don’t want to spend $30 to get the nails “un-done”. What fun is that that? The more she saves the more frugal she becomes.

Summer schedules are crazy. Kids going everyone. I have to ask for help to get the little one to and from summer school. Some days I don’t even see big girl until bed time. Big fella is spending the week at his grandparents where he is learning a trade. And I am learning to be productive and to be alone at times. Neither are easy.

Life lesson#5: Mom has to learn to live a little differently during the summer. I find myself alone a little more than I am used to. So my work hours have gotten longer. But that makes me stressed. So I’ve learned to try and find some balance.

Creativity helps me balance. Mop a floor. Work until 8:30. Pick a show on Netflix to re-watch to fill the quiet nights. But…add making something into the mix and viola!-BALANCE. Sunday, while the girl was at the mall and the boy and baby girl traveled over the hills and through the woods, I used sea shells we scavenged from our family beach trip to Amelia Island to make a resin display.

Next time I am alone: I plan on painting the stair treads, bannister and railings.

Summer=projects. Summer=life lessons. Add a little fun. Mix in some sleeping in, add some pool time and we will all learn a little something. School may be out for 2 of the 3 but there is still lots of learning going on.

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